Andrew McGee

Opium’s Ooze – (hard to love and so hard to lose)

April 21, 2014

Nashville Work Tape – Opium’s Ooze

This song was written in the fall of 2013 by a man who struggled to hold on to a love that was suffocating whilst soothingly intoxicating.  What ensues is a demonstration of the emotion one battles when trying to let go of a good drug like love.  Video source: http://youtu.be/VSJvUJQT_Gc

I know you’ll take the breath away of so many men with your gum.
I know just a couple minutes with you is better when I’m numb.
Here I go digging my toes back into the ground.
Worrying that someday soon I’m gonna lose everything that I’ve found.

You’re hard to love; hard to lose. You want me to give up but that’s now what I’m gonna do. Nah, I’m foolish enough to keep on pushing through thinking one day I’m gonna earn your trust. Now I have been with you, and like opium’s ooze, you are beautiful but dangerous when used. Oh, oh, oh, opium’s ooze.

I can count on one hand how many times I’m gonna die.
I’m gonna need both of my feet to count the ways you’ve kept me alive.
Sun shines down on a flower that you try to hide.
I cut it up and feed it to my heart and feel it die.

You’re hard to love; so hard to lose. You want me to give up but that’s now what I’m gonna do. Nah, I’m foolish enough to keep on pushing through thinking one day I’m gonna earn your trust. Now I have been with you, and like opium’s ooze, you are beautiful but dangerous when used.

I’m in denial when she cracks a smile. All of the while I’m high.

You are hard to love; hard to lose. You want me to give up but that’s now what I’m gonna do. Nah, I’m foolish enough to keep on pushing through thinking that one day I’m gonna earn your trust. Now I have been with you, like opium’s ooze, you are beautiful but dangerous when used. Oh, oh, oh, opium’s ooze.

 

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Down into a Coal Mine – (take a look up)

October 19, 2013

Down into a Coal Mine – by Stuart Cary

While living in a wonderful village here in Nashville, I made great friends with many neighbors.  Stu was one of those neighbors.

Slugging it out, the livelong day.
Line up Friday, the man gives me my pay.
The weekend’s gone, it’s Monday morning at the crack of dawn.

When you go down in a coal mine; when you go down into the ground, take a look up for the sunshine if you can. ‘Cause there’s a little light shining there in the darkness everywhere, so take a look up for that sunshine if you can.

All these dreams may come to none.
Think about what I have and what I have not got.
Times get tough, I find out that I’ve had about enough.

When you go down into a coal mine; when you go down into the ground, take a look up for that sunshine if you can. ‘Cause there’s a little light shining there in the darkness everywhere, take a look up for that sunshine if you can.

If you can, sift the gold from all that useless sand, pull it out with just your own two hands, ride off into to sunset-promised land.

Pull up the stakes pull out the stops.
Haven’t seen the bottom, I haven’t seen the top.
Times get tough, I find out that I’ve got about enough.

When you go down into a coal mine; when you go down into the ground, take a look up for that sunshine if you can. ‘Cause there’s a little light shining there in the darkness everywhere, take a look up for that sunshine if you can.

Take a look up for that sunshine if you can.

—-
Words and Music written by Stuart Cary

 

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Broke On Payday – (spent it on a lady)

September 7, 2013

 

Broke on Payday – co-written with Jack Frisby

My good songwriting buddy Jack Frisby and I wrote this together one day in the village here in Nashville.  Oh my do we all know what this is like?  Sometimes on payday I like to refrain from paying bills just for a few hours so I can feel like I have all that money to spend!  We would love to hear someone cut this song and do something special with it.  We think others can relate to getting money on payday that’s already spent! 

Mailman brought me three bills today; my woman and the rent are late. I know I should probably shave, get another job, learn to pray. Come this time tomorrow my way, all the money I spent yesterday.

Broke on payday, spent it on a lady, forty hours a week until they’ll pay me. Tip my hat to the man in charge, pick up the slack just to keep my job. Working hard, hey hey, to be broke on payday.

Landlord brought me a notice again, shade tree mechanic said it’s the transmission. People say I should learn how to save, the truth of it is there just ain’t no way. Come this time tomorrow fast, gonna feel good for a change to have a little cash.

Broke on payday, spent it on a lady, forty hours a week until they’ll pay me. Tip my hat to the man in charge, pick up the slack just to keep my job. Working hard, hey hey, to be broke on payday.

Punch the clock, play the game, pass the time, waiting for payday. Tip my hat to the man in charge, pick up the slack just to keep my job.Working hard, hey hey, to be broke on payday.

 

 

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Recording Costs in Nashville

July 29, 2013

What are the average recording costs per song in Nashville? About $750.

For full band recordings you can get a decent demo for $250-500, a nice recording for $750, and a master recording starting at $1,000.  But it can get even more expensive.  It depends on how you record. There are some great producers with home studios, who if you catch at the right time, might be willing to give you a sweet deal.  It’s a creative service, so the prices are always subject to change.  The factors that make up the costs are musicians, the recording space, and the biggest variable: time.

There are some services that crank out basic demos for under $200, such as Paramount Song.  However, Paramount Song’s motive is to facilitate song contests and pitches, and in their process, they can run your song through the mill and make a demo for really cheap.  You get what you pay for, but these demos are done by local professionals and will not sound bad.  If you want a better demo, pay more money or make a friend who owns a studio.

Some people don’t pay anything to have their songs recorded because they have a strong network of friends with resources.  I have some friends who took two years recording their own album without paying a single dollar, because they were bouncing it around to each others’ home studios and recording facilities.

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Meeting With Hit Songwriter, Rivers Rutherford:

June 25, 2013

Advice On Becoming A Nashville Songwriter

I’ll never forget some of the best advice I ever got was from Rivers Rutherford.  I had literally just arrived in Nashville that day, and through a vague connection I was able to meet this hit songwriter at his home and later in his office, and boy did I blow it!   🙂

It’s okay, I have a feeling that most people like me blow those good chances at first.  At the time, I simply wasn’t ready to work with someone of the caliber of Rivers Rutherford, despite how ready I thought I was.

But oh how I’ve listened and learned since then, and if you are reading this Mr. Rutherford, I would love to take that second meeting and play Rescue or Broke on Payday.

The simple advice Rivers Rutherford gave me was so valuable that I want to share this knowledge with other new songwriters in Nashville who are wondering where to go.  It’s simple:

Go out and play, make friends, and come up together.

Everything else will fall into place if it’s meant to be.

Have you ever heard stories about how movie stars and comedians all knew each other years and years ago, because they were all hitting the circuit trying to reach their own success?  It’s very much the same way in the music business, and probably many other industries as well.

In my fourth year I can already use all the fingers on one hand when counting the friends I’ve made in Nashville who are slowly but surely moving on to the next level.  If some of us make it to that next level of success, it’s likely that we will remember some of our colleagues from the days when we were in the trenches.  It’s one big network of like-minded people playing to a multitude of audiences, and the cream always rises to the top.

Whatever role you play, the industry consists of all sorts of people working together with different talents: artists, musicians, songwriters, producers, engineers, business executives.  There are different ways to make it in Nashville; I have the artist’s passion but I have been learning how to have the songwriter’s mind.  After all, my end-goal is to make a living being a songwriter.  I’ll always be an artist…

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How To Make It In Nashville:

June 9, 2013

Success In Music City’s Music Industry

There is no one entity in Nashville that accepts applications for a job in the music industry – no matter how good you are at what you do.  And you can’t just sell a song.  Therefore, one excels in the music industry based very much on the friends they make, the hours they sweat, and the chances they take.  Be patient, curb any excessive zeal, and try to listen for what you should be doing rather than talking about what you are doing – everyone is also doing something else just like you and maybe they’re doing it better.  Here’s a great list of things NOT to do when you move to Nashville.

Success always comes when preparation meets opportunity, luck is the inexplicable variable, and talent is practicing something you love until you become an expert.  You’ll probably have to work a regular job for a while but I’ve noticed that most of the successful people in Nashville devoted their life to becoming a master at one or more of the following skills:

  • Creating – writing and co-writing popular songs that sell.  I love what Mitch Ballard says about this.
  • Performing – being highly proficient on one or more instruments, on stage or in the studio.  I love Tim Aker’s advice on this.
  • Engineering – providing world-class sound production
  • Business – fostering exclusive connections, management, and community involvement

Additionally, you do need to be in Nashville on a regular basis.  Opens Mics are a great place to start networking as you’ll continuously develop your skills, make friends, and learn about the community.

Join whichever guild it is that serves your segment of the music industry, for me that’s NSAI and BMI, but there are groups strictly for musicians, engineers, producers, and other professionals.  Pay attention to your industry.

The music and art scenes are very active in Nashville and the city is steadily growing stronger each year.  While its foundation is inherently Country Music – as portrayed in ABC’s TV series Nashville – the city proudly welcomes all other genres and offers its unconditional support to all styles with countless annual events like Musicians Corner and Live on the Green.

If you are thinking of moving to Nashville to make it in music – good luck – the city will wish you the very same.

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Rescue – (things you sometimes love sometimes you lose)

May 20, 2013

Rescue – a study on a set of tormented hearts

Oh my my how much angst I had when I wrote this song.  I don’t think I need to explain much about this song, the lyrics speak for themselves.

Let’s take a few days this spring, find a way to do this thing. From the beginning I knew I needed you.

I stood in the rain, under the moon looking for stars, wishing you would fall in love with me like I did with you. Like a work of art this’ll never be through, I promise you, things you sometimes love, sometimes you lose.

Let’s buy a little time, do it right, hold each other for the ride. What’ll two hearts do when they come unglued? They say it hurts a little while.

I stood in the rain, under the moon looking for stars, wishing you would fall in love with me like I did with you. Like a work of art this’ll never be through, I promise you, things you sometimes love, sometimes you lose.

If you find yourself alone, baby girl, need a little help ’cause you’re lost in the world, I don’t have a choice if I hear your voice, you know what I’ll do – I’ll come to rescue you.

Let’s go another round. Deep down we don’t wanna lose what we’ve found but it’s a hard thing to do – to just be friends, knowing you are holding another hand.

I stood in the rain, under the moon looking for stars, wishing you would fall in love with me like I did with you. Like a work of art this’ll never be through, I promise you, things you sometimes love, sometimes you lose.

If you find yourself alone, baby girl, need a little help ’cause you’re lost in the world, I don’t have a choice if I hear your voice, you know what I’ll do – I’ll come to rescue you.

 

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